What is the History of Massage?
Japanese monk's then imported the Chinese methods back to Japan and this evolved into Shiatsu.
From these eastern practices massage progressed into Western civilization in approximately the eighth century BCE.
Athletes in Ancient Greece employed massage to keep their bodies in peak condition prior to competitions. Physicians of the time used herbs and oils in combination with massage techniques to treat many medical conditions. Greek women recognized the benefits of these aromatic oils and used them as beauty treatments on their skin.
Then in 100 BC Rome started using massage initially for the emperors and wealthy to heal complaints and ailments but it then transgressed into the public baths where Romans would first bathe themselves and then receive a full body massage to stimulate circulation and loosen their joints. As popularity grew the reputation of massage changed to been more about excess and pleasure than healing.
Between 1600 and 1800, numerous physicians and scientists observed and documented the benefits of massage. However, Western techniques made few advances until the 19th century.
In the early 1800s, the Swedish physician Per Henrik Ling developed the Swedish Gymnastic Movement System also known as Classic massage. This system incorporated massage with medical gymnastics and physiology. Techniques included stroking, pressing and squeezing, and striking to manually treat physical issues.
Throughout the 20th century new and rediscovered massage techniques were practiced, including during World War 1 on soldiers to treat shell shock and nerve injury.
During the 1930s and 1940s massage's influence decreased as a result of medical advancements of the time, while in the 1970s massage's influence grew once again with a notable rise among athletes. Until the 1970s, nurses used massage to reduce pain and aid sleep.
The massage therapy industry is continuously increasing; today's massage therapists practice a multitude of techniques originating from ancient methods. From those roots, they remain inspired by a goal cultivated centuries ago - to help others heal their physical and emotional well-being and experience a higher quality of life.